For Expectant Parents considering adoption, an adoption professional is the place to start. Some of these are local, while others work with families throughout the USA and beyond. An adoption professional will work closely and sympathetically with expectant parents to ensure they feel safe and happy with their adoption plan. Their role is to advise and support Expectant Parents through the process of pregnancy, birth, placement, and beyond.
Most of us feel better knowing what to expect. Here’s a general idea of what happens when you sign up with an adoption professional:
PAPERWORKOnce you have selected an adoption professional, you will be asked to complete some paperwork. This usually includes personal and health history, proof of pregnancy, and family selection criteria. This helps them get to know you so they can help you find the right Adoptive Family. It also allows the child to have the information later on.
ADOPTION ADVISORYour adoption professional will connect you with an Adoption Advisor. An Adoption Advisor is there to help you through the adoption process and offer emotional support. They are generally available by phone, text or email. Your Adoption Advisor will help you with everything from doctors appointments and finding support in your area, to coordinating living expenses and communicating with the Adoptive Family. Adoption Advisors generally contact you once a week, but are available as often or as little as you like.
MENTORINGDepending on your adoption professional, they may be able to put you in contact with a Birth Mother who is years beyond placement. She is there to talk to you and listen. She can help you understand what feelings to expect during your pregnancy and after your baby is placed in their new adoptive home. It helps to talk to someone who knows exactly what it feels like to place a child for adoption. Many mentors and mentees develop lasting friendships.
SELECT AN ADOPTIVE FAMILYYou get to choose an Adoptive Family. First you will discuss the kind of family you hope will adopt your baby; then you’ll be shown suitable profiles. Adoptive Families have to undergo rigorous screening processes so you can feel comfortable knowing that each profile is a loving adoptive family, who is emotionally and financially able to give your child a great life. You can speak with them and sometimes even meet in person before coming to a decision. Your adoption professional will help you with these conversations. It is important that everyone is entirely happy with the choice.
DETERMINE LEVEL OF CONTACTThe degree of "openness" in the adoption will be based on your comfort level, and that of the Adoptive Parents. This may include the sending of photos and letters, or meetings with your child. Maintaining contact allows you to know how your child is doing and reassures you that you made the right choice. Consider what seems right for you at this time and be prepared to adjust your level of contact over the years, as your and your child’s lives evolve.
MAKE A BIRTH PLANA birth plan is a formula for what you want your hospital experience to look like. There are additional factors to consider when your birth plan includes adoption. Do you want Adoptive Parents in the labor room? Who do you want to take care of the baby during your hospital stay? Who will be your support during recover and relinquishment? Creating a plan that considers these issues helps everyone know what to expect.
An adoption professional can help you sort through your feelings and help you get answers.
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